Fairfax Man Guilty of Bigamy

After Sandra Hicks appeared on
After Sandra Hicks appeared on "Dr. Phil," authorities declared her marriage -- her husband's seventh -- invalid. (Peteski Productions Inc.)
By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 3, 2006

The Fairfax County man who was captured after his bigamy case was featured on "Dr. Phil" pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony bigamy charge in a Chesapeake, Va., courtroom.

A North Carolina woman was watching the syndicated television show about the dangers of bigamists when it aired in the Charlotte area in December. She recognized the man they were talking about as Charles "Ed" Hicks and said: "Oh, my God, he's dating my sister!"

She called her sister, and then she called police.

Hicks has been married seven times but divorced only five times. The 62-year-old is married to both Sandra Goldin Hicks of Fairfax and Julie Flint Hicks of Utah. At the time of his marriage to Julie Hicks, in 1997 in Chesapeake, he was still married to his fifth wife, Rose Sewell of Texas.

Prosecutors in Fairfax, and then Chesapeake, had to untangle Hicks's long string of marriages and divorces, which began in California in 1965, to determine whether, and where, he had committed a crime. Meanwhile, Hicks worked for the Army at the Hoffman Building in Alexandria.

Authorities decided that Hicks' seventh marriage, to Sandra Goldin Hicks, was invalid and that he should be charged for living with his sixth wife, Julie Hicks, in Chesapeake while he was married to his fifth wife. Hicks was indicted in Chesapeake in early December but was nowhere to be found.

However, Sandra and Julie Hicks appeared on "Dr. Phil" to discuss bigamists, and Hicks's photograph was shown during the program. Thanks to the viewer's tip, he was picked up that afternoon.

Hicks was returned to Chesapeake and in January was released on bond. He returned to Charlotte, violating the conditions of his bond, and was arrested again.

Chesapeake Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Derek Wagner said Hicks entered his plea in a brief hearing yesterday before Circuit Court Judge S. Bernard Goodwyn, who set sentencing for May 8. Hicks faces a minimum of two years and a maximum of 10 in prison.

Sandra Hicks, who first discovered the other marriages and persisted in demanding her husband's prosecution, said she was shocked by his guilty plea "because he's never admitted doing anything wrong. I hope he gets some jail time because this is a serious thing, and he keeps doing it over and over. He won't stop. He'd already asked the woman in North Carolina to marry him."

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